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Southend MP's morals called into question
11:00am Wednesday 24th October 2012 in Echo News
TORY MP David Amess’s expenses have been questioned following the latest revelations about his claims.
The Echo revealed yesterday the Southend West MP was renting out his second home in London while billing taxpayers £1,570 a month to stay elsewhere in the capital.
The revelations come after Mr Amess shared the stage at a “question time” event at the Eastwood school, organised by Southend’s YMCA, for teenagers with Jack Monroe, a 24-year-old single mother and Labour activist.
Ms Monroe is openly candid about her struggles to feed her young son, and has blogged about serving him Weetabix with water and foregoing breakfast herself to survive on as little as £7 a week.
She said: “At the question time, young people said they felt MPs were out of touch and self-interested. For this to come out about Mr Amess soon afterwards says it all.
“It is about the impression which is given out, and that is we are most definitely not ‘all in it together’.”
MP AMESS: I'VE BEEN OPEN AT ALL TIMES ABOUT BY EXPENSES
DAVID Amess has insisted he has been open and transparent about his expenses claims - at all times.
In a statement, the MP said he had discussed his situation with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority once the ban on paying mortgage interest with taxpayers’ money was introduced.
He said: “After careful consideration of the options, and bearing in mind public concerns about the financing of second homes, I decided that I would no longer claim anything for my London property.
“I opted for hotel accommodation, but found it unsatisfactory and expensive in the long-term.
“I then found a flat to rent that is within reasonable distance from the House of Commons.
“At no stage have I endeavoured to conceal these arrangements and no objections have been raised until now.”